Don't miss out on exploring the many sites in and around Banteay Meanchey if you have the chance to stop in this wonderful province.
Banteay Chmar Temple
One of the must see places on the Cambodia tour packages is the stunning Banteay Chmar temple ruins. Even if you have been to Siem Reap and seen the ruins at Bayon temples it is still worth visiting the Angkor era ruins at Banteay Chmar. The walls of the temples include sculptures, arts and architecture that help to create a cultural story linking the Angkor period to our modern city. This type of historic site is best explored with a local English speaking guide who is able to communicate the story and history of this temple.
The Temple complex at Banteay Chhma isn’t as well known as the famous Angkor Wat temples, yet still a magnificent sight to explore. This area is rich in historical structures that are surrounded by lush vegetation and in an area that is largely untouched. This is also one of the few temple complexes that include the face towers with the enigmatic smiles.
Visitors to the Banteay Chmar Temple can expect to find plenty of well preserved carvings that are lost among the broken colonnades and ruins. Other smaller temples in the local area in a ruinous state include the Prasat Ciem Trey, Pranang Ta Sok, Yeay Choun, Prom Muk Buon, Ta Prohm and Prasat Mebon.
Poipet town is relatively small; however, it is well located near the Cambodia/Thailand border, which has made this town very developed and more so than the provincial capital of Sisophorn. The closest town to Poipet in Thailand is Aranyaprathet. A father great reason to visit this area is the spacious park near the border, which gives plenty of opportunities to relax and take photographs. Plus, there is a great market place between the borders of these two countries. Most of the items are made by the local Khmer and Thai people. In addition, a great attraction for many tourists is the casino which is certain to be appreciated by those that love to gamble.
Banteay Torp Temple
The small temple of Banteay Top (Fortress of the Army) is able to offer a great site to explore for the traveller with its great atmosphere and historic features. This temple was built close to the time of Banteay Chhmar, and may have been constructed as a tribute to Jayavarman VII, who had led the fight against the Chams. This temple is surrounded by rice paddies and is reached via a dirt road 14 km south-west of Banteay Chhmar. Some of the damaged towers have rebuilt over time to help show how these structures previously looked.
Ang Trapeang Thmor
A visit to the Ang Trapeang Thmor is a perfect choice for the traveller interested in the local wildlife. It is easily reached by guests staying in Banteay Meanchey Province. Plus, the distance from the town of Siem Reap is approx. 100 km, so not too difficult to reach if based further afield. Ang Trapeang Thmor is a dedicated wetland ecosystem that gives protection to nearly 200 species of birds including the rare Sarus Crane.
The aim of this unique reserve is to stop the endangered species disappearing. There are nearly 18 bird species in the area that are classified as globally threatened. Even though it is possible to visit Ang Trapeang Thmor at any time of the year, the best time to get great views is from February to May. Other wildlife in the region includes the Eld’s deer, which are also seen as endangered. The only way to visit and explore this forest region is by travelling in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Banteay Neang Temple
A tour of the historical site of the Banteay Neang Temple is approx 11 km from town and takes nearly 20 minutes by car to get there. This area has plenty of colonial buildings and historical sites in the local region. The Banteay Neang Temple is based in relatively remote tropical rain forest that is rarely visited and only rediscovered recently. It hasn’t received much work in relation to restoration, but is still a great place to explore for those that like the temples in the thick jungle areas.
Cheung Krouh Temple
The Cheung Krouh Temple is quite a journey – about 63 km - from Banteay Meanchey and can take approx. 2 hours to reach by vehicle. This area is rich in wildlife and has the benefit of being preserved by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The actual temple is in the middle of tropical rainforest in an area that is mostly untouched.
Kang Va Basin Reservoir
Kang Va Basin Reservoir is a large man-made resort located in the Serey Sophoan District and within a relatively short distance from town at approx. 4 km. It is a great tourist destination for those interested in exploring the Ang Teuk Kang Va basin, the beautiful natural scenery has plenty of natural land to trek. The Ang Teuk Kang Va basin was first built in 1979 to act as a water reservoir for the Khmer Rouge regime to help in both the wet and dry season. Today, it has a practical use of helping local farmers with rice cultivation. Other activities in the area include boat trips, fishing and swimming.
Laang Phnom Touch
A visit to the cultural and natural resort of Laang Phnom Touch is great for those on the Cambodia Package Tours interest in the outdoor trekking experience. It is easily reached by travelling along National Road No. 5 and is within the Serey Sa Phoan District. The actual trip from town is about 28 km so a perfect destination for a day-trip. There is plenty to see on this site, including the small and large mountains, natural wells, and large stone faces.
By climbing to the top of the mountains, it is possible to get spectacular views of the local surroundings, including the nearby Buddhist pagoda and lush rain forests. Also, this site is very popular for holy festival days and other special occasions.